2019 Minnesota Invitational: Day One Finals Live Recap


  • Wed. Dec. 4 – Sun. Dec. 8, 2019
  • Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center / University of Minnesota / Minneapolis, MN
  • Wed. Timed finals 6 PM
  • Thu.-Sat. Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM / Diving 12 Noon
  • Short course yards (SCY) format Wed.-Sat. (LCM format Sunday)
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Stream (days 2-4)
  • Live results (page should update when meet begins)
    • Back-up: Meet Mobile is working fine. Search “Minnesota Invite 2019”

Tonight is the first session of the 2019 Minnesota Invitational. It’s certainly a last, but not least, kind of meet; with most of the high-profile NCAA mid-season invites done and dusted, we have swimmers from Texas, Cal, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, Harvard, and Iowa all squaring off.

There are four relays contested tonight: the 200 medley and 800 free relays for men and women. Among several big storylines to keep track of this meet, we’ll get to see swimmers from Cal and Texas throw down, though there is plenty of firepower to go around from the rest of the teams in this field. Also of note, one of the top breaststrokers in the country, Max McHugh of Minnesota, will have his first big meet since suffering a gun wound this summer. We should get to see him in action in the 200 medley relay tonight.


  1. Cal – 1:35.24
  2. Michigan – 1:35.53
  3. Texas – 1:37.17

Cal and Michigan wound up very close in this race, with the Golden Bears prevailing thanks largely to a massive 20.56 anchor from Abbey Weitzeil. It’s the fourth-best relay split performance from a woman ever, unofficially. Only she and Simone Manuel have been faster; they’re tied at 20.45 for the best split ever, and Weitzeil has been 20.49 in the past, too.

Cal led off with Keaton Blovad on backstroke (24.04), followed by Ema Rajic (27.26) on breast and Maddie Murphy on fly (23.38).

Michigan was second, but they were out to an enormous lead at the half. Maggie Macneil, defending World Champion in the 100 fly, swam backstroke (23.80) followed by a big 26.23 split from Miranda Tucker. They had Claire Maiocco (23.83) swim fly and were anchored in 21.67 by Daria Pyshnenko.

Texas placed third in 1:37.17, a ways back, while Cal’s B took fourth (1:37.22) ahead of Minnesota (1:37.95). The Longhorns had Claire Adams (24.24), Evie Pfeifer pulling sprint breast duties (27.55), freshman Kelly Pash (23.48) and Julia Cook (21.90). For Cal’s B, freshman Ayla Spitz was 24.78 leading off, with fellow freshman Eloise Riley anchoring (22.21), while Ali Harrison (27.25 on breast) and Izzy Ivey (22.98 on fly) actually out-split their A relay’s breast and fly legs, and their composite best would’ve been 1:34.83.

Host team Minnesota was fifth, getting a 26.75 breast leg from Lindsey Kozelsky, while Arizona (1:38.49) and Harvard (1:39.91) were also under 1:40. The Wildcats were led by a 24.13 lead-off from Aria Bernal, and Harvard got a 24.88 lead-off from freshman Felicia Pasadyn (24.88).

Virginia leads the country still with a 1:33.91, well ahead of the teams racing tonight. Cal checks in for second in the nation, just ahead of Michigan and Tennessee (1:35.61). Only Mizzou (1:35.61) and NC State (1:35.92) have broken 1:36 this year.


  1. Cal – 1:23.12
  2. Texas A – 1:23.53
  3. Texas B – 1:23.69

Cal and Texas did not mess around tonight. Cal’s A, and Texas’s A and B, now own the top three times in the NCAA.

Leading off for Cal was Daniel Carr (21.53), followed by Reece Whitley (23.29), Pawel Sendyk (19.95), and Ryan Hoffer with an 18.35 anchor leg. Sendyk’s and Hoffer’s splits stand out here, with Hoffer’s being the best anchor leg in the field.

Texas’s A wasn’t far behind at 1:23.53, led off by Chris Staka (21.14) with the field’s best lead-off split. Charlie Scheinfeld was 23.59 on breast, Alvin Jiang 20.23 on fly, and Daniel Krueger 18.57 anchoring, a nice split for him.

Texas’s B was 1:23.69 with Ryan Harty (21.30), freshman Caspar Corbeau (23.23), Maxime Rooney (19.86) and Luke Bowman (19.30). That’s an incredible split from Rooney, about a half-second from the unofficial best split ever, a 19.36 from Texas alum Joseph Schooling. If you piece together Texas’s best four from their A and B (Staka/Corbeau/Rooney/Krueger), you get a 1:22.80, which would’ve taken the win here.

Michigan, who went 1:25.06 at NCAAs last year and didn’t score, looked much better here with a 1:24.24, not far out of the mix. Eric Storms was 21.91 on back, Will Chan 23.62 on breast, Miles Smachlo dropped a 20.30 on fly, and Gus Borges impressed with the field’s second-best split, an 18.41. Borges was the big gun here; he was only 19.08 anchoring at NCAAs in March.

Arizona touched at 1:25.47 for fifth, getting a 21.60 lead-off from Thomas Anderson, a 20.45 fly split from Brendan Meyer and a 19.09 anchor from Marcin Ercegovic.

Texas’s C out-split Cal’s B, 1:26.09 to 1:26.47, with Jason Park going 21.98 out front, Michael Couet dropping a 23.95 breast split, and Jacob Huerta going 20.52 on fly, while Bryce Mefford was the stand-out Cal leg at 21.60 leading off. Touching eighth was Minnesota, buoyed by a field-best 23.04 breast split from Max McHugh.


  1. Cal A – 6:56.00
  2. Texas – 6:57.04
  3. Cal B – 7:04.50

This race, like the men’s 200 medley relay, was all Cal and Texas. Ultimately, Cal’s A took the win at 6:56.00, with Texas’s A also getting under 7:00 with a 6:57.04 for second.

The Golden Bears had freshman Ayla Spitz lead off in 1:45.17, followed by Izzy Ivey (1:44.19), Robin Neumann (1:44.22), and Abbey Weitzeil with a strong 1:42.42 anchor. Weitzeil was 48.85 going out and came home in 26.5 and 26.9. Texas had freshman Kelly Pash lead-off in a lifetime best 1:44.41, erasing her old best of 1:45.25 from just shy of two years ago to the day. Julia Cook was 1:44.29 to go second, Evie Pfeifer was 1:43.60 going third, and Claire Adams finished things off with a 1:44.74.

Cal and Texas went head-to-head with their B relays, too, as Cal edged the Longhorns in a tighter battle, 7:04.50 to 7:04.90. Cal’s B was led by Alicia Wilson‘s 1:44.79 second leg and freshman Rachel Klinker‘s 1:45.40 third leg, while Texas had four freshman race their B relay. Lead-off Bridget Semenuk and third leg Mary Smutny were both 1:46.9’s, while Kyla Leibel (1:45.93) and anchor Miranda Heckman (1:45.10) were a tick faster.

Michigan touched in fifth at 7:05.96, highlighted by Chloe Hicks‘ 1:45.12 anchor leg. Arizona grabbed sixth in 7:08.38, getting a 1:44.39 second-leg split from Kirsten Jacobsen as well as a 1:46.80 third leg from Ayumi Macias. Harvard was seventh in 7:10.36, getting a 1:46.96 lead-off from Miki Dahlke. Ninth-place Iowa got a 1:45.44 lead-off from Hannah Burvill, one of the better lead-offs tonight.

Only one team before this meet had gone under 7:00, and that was USC’s 6:58.06 from the Art Adamson Invitational. Cal and Texas now rank 1-2 in the country.


  1. Texas – 6:08.40
  2. Michigan – 6:15.96
  3. Texas B – 6:17.41

Texas dominated this race with no real contest from anyone else, winning by over seven seconds with a 6:08.40. Texas A&M’s 6:15.71 was the nation-leading time until tonight, and only the Longhorns beat that.

UT led off with Maxime Rooney, who posted a lifetime best 1:31.96. That eclipses his old best of 1:32.18 by a smidge, which was from the 2017 SEC Championships (while he was a freshman at Florida). Matthew Willenbring was 1:33.41 on the second leg, followed by Austin Katz (1:32.02). Drew Kibler delivered the split of the night, anchoring in a 1:31.01 after going out 20.8/22.8 and holding two 23’s. Katz was a bit more consistent, out 21.0/23.3 then coming back 23.8/23.7. Rooney was 20.82 going out flat-start, then 23.0/23.6/24.4.

Michigan grabbed second, touching at 6:15.96, just off of the Aggies former leading time from a couple of weeks back. The Wolverines are now third in the nation this season. Patrick Callan was 1:33.52 leading off, with Felix Auboeck in tow (1:34.84). Tommy Cope posted a 1:33.69 split for third, and Charlie Swanson anchored in 1:33.91.

Texas’s B out-performed most team’s A relay with a 6:17.41. That relay had Daniel Krueger leading off in 1:34.73, followed by JT Larson (1:33.93) and freshmen Peter Larson (1:34.00) and Jake Foster (1:34.75). The Larsons are brothers.

Cal’s A finished in fourth at 6:18.51, their fastest leg being lead-off Trenton Julian (1:33.79). Michael Jensen was 1:35.89 for second, followed by Bryce Mefford (1:34.05) and Daniel Carr (1:34.78).

Cal’s B (6:21.96) was led off by Sean Grieshop (1:35.43), followed by freshman Colby Mefford (1:35.50) and Chris Jhong (1:36.17). Notably, breaststroke sensation Reece Whitley had the best split for Cal’s B relay, anchoring at 1:34.86. Both Mefford and Whitley out-split Jensen on their A. Arizona’s A touched in fifth at 6:19.70, sandwiched between Cal’s A and B relays. Daniel Namir (1:33.82) and Brooks Fail (1:33.52) had them off to a hot start, followed by Aldan Johnston (1:35.80) and Isaac Stump (1:36.56).

Arizona freshman Hunter Ingram unloaded a 1:34.99 lead-off on Arizona’s B, destroying his old best of 1:36.14. Had he been on their A, factoring in a few tenths saved from a flying start, the Wildcats would’ve been about two seconds quicker, which would’ve actually put them in fourth ahead of Cal’s A.

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2 years ago

If they add all three boards of synchronized diving, Texas wins a close one come March.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Good joke, but Texas looks to be a much deeper team than last year. They won’t match Carl’s insane 22/8 (up/downs) from last year, but Cal might not either. I think it’s going to be a much closer meet than last year. Texas could very well do something like 14/18. Texas has sudden depth in events they didn’t have last year like the breast and IM’s.

Reply to  Horninco
2 years ago

Sam Pomevich

Reply to  coach
2 years ago

That’s a great example, possible three event scorer with a couple A finals if he’s on form. Rough year last year for him.

2 years ago

Looks like some of TX and AZ and Cal women shaved. I wish teams would say one way or another.

2 years ago

Great splits on Texas

2 years ago

Casual 48 from weitzeil on the opening 100

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Kinda nostalgic for Townley’s 1:38 200 frees this time of year.

2 years ago

Looks like Whitley figured out the 50! Cal is going to be very dangerous in March. 20.9 for Carr, 23.0 for Whitley, 19.6 for Sendyk, and 17.9 for Hoffer is 1:21.4 and an NCAA record. Those splits don’t seem all too crazy. Cal has got to be the favorite right now with Texas very close behind.

Reply to  JCO
2 years ago

Texas wins NCAA’s with a 1:20.9, so technically Cal will be close behind Texas.

Reply to  JCO
2 years ago

Cal will be one of the favorites but Texas will drop time as well

Chaitha D.
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

Rooney on the fly split is gonna be a game change as well

Reply to  JCO
2 years ago

Looks right to me – although do not count out Tennessee

Get out of here
Reply to  Bambi
2 years ago

Stop with the Tennessee hype already. Geez

Right Dude Here
2 years ago

Fastest composite Texas relay is 1:22.80

Reply to  Right Dude Here
2 years ago

But composites don’t count…

Right Dude Here
Reply to  Snarky
2 years ago

But midseason’s don’t count…

Lane 8
2 years ago

Page still hasn’t updated

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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